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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day 2017: How will you #BeBoldForChange ?

Today is International Women's Day 2017 - I've taken my pledge for 2017.  If you fancy making a pledge too, then head to the International Women's site by clicking here and select the one that you would love to take action on. 


Sunday, 5 March 2017

All hail... the high-waisted bikini!

It's always a good time to go on holiday, right?

Well yes and no.  I love the sun, I love the heat but just after winter as we approach spring, I'm a tad reluctant to give up my 100 denier tights, skinny jeans, boots and all those glorious comfy lush jumpers.

In just over a week I have to get in a bikini - that's right!  I'm currently milky white, full of winter and I have to bare all in front of EVERYONE and I'm just not sure I'm ready!

I think the best time of year for us British ladies to relax and chill in the glorious sun is from around June. By this point we've waxed everything off, the legs have been bare for about 8 weeks, we've had a little sun from the picnics, walks in the park, beer gardens and just generally in the garden - we've ate the salads, the lighter evening meals and by this point we are ready.  I've still not given up the comfy winter food, or even thought about baring a leg!

I've been reading previous summer posts I've written about getting ready, and it's made me realise I may just have run out of time; It's finally here! So girls we need to get ready... talks about pedicures (I've booked that!) and getting fit (I take it looking at my cross-trainer doesn't count!) and then there is Summer time essentials - Make the most of it! talks about IF the sun comes out, well where I am going it's currently 30 degrees so I think I've ticked that box!

And so let's talk about bikinis.  A few years back when I was not so happy with my weight, I packed a tankini, now I think these are great for spa days etc, but they are not designed for sunbathing, too much material and it's hard to wear any cover ups, I just felt frumpy - so that's a no, no.

Then there is the one-suit - now there is a huge range of them out there and they do look beautiful, but then my hairdresser told me she got fed up with them on her holiday the hassle of going to the ladies and getting in and out of them - and so this is a no, no too.

And then she told me about the high-waisted bikini - this sounded appealing but met with the cautious "will this make me frumpy too?". I decided to discuss with the younger ladies in my office, who went on to rave about them, decision made - the high-waisted it is!.  After searching the internet, and not forgetting my recent experience, I finally decided on Figleaves, which you can only buy online; an added advantage is they are offering 15% off most lines, simply use SPRING15 when checking out.

I invested in more than one, but this is the one I want to share with you ladies, it's the scuba Byron Bay bikini.  The material even feels a bit like a scuba suit - I'm so chuffed with the quality, the style, plus it fitted first time!  I am truly loving this and whilst I am the most unsportiest person, this is going to say "I am ready for this"; "I am not frumpy" - it says "I am beach ready!"


Byron Beach Underwired Scuba Bikini 

The post All hail... the high-waisted bikini! appeared on Loved by Lizzi first.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Let's chat... online shopping

I'm a size 14 in clothes.  You would therefore think it would be so so simple to shop away to your hearts content online; choose your colour, choose your size and choose your delivery options and bob's your uncle a lovely delivery lands just when you need it.  (Let's forget the panic attack we all then get when the credit card bill lands 30 days later).

Sounds heavenly, and I envy every single one of you who are lucky enough that your online purchases fit every time.

Each brand simply doesn't make clothes to the sizing matrix we all sign up to; in M&S I'm a 12; in Next it's a 14; in River Island, well put it this way, it's the number I want to cut the label off!  I quite like Fat Face though as I'm frequently a 10 (but not a real 10, because I'm 14 - but it makes me happy nonetheless).

But sizing aside, my recent online spree (purely due to the very lack of time I've had recently to shop) have simply not been what they say on the tin.  Most of my disappointments have been about the quality of the material; when you shop in store you can touch and feel before you even think about putting it on, and if you don't like the material, then you are never ever going to love the outfit.  Images online are so squeaky perfect that I'm now unsure what I'm going to get, and this is where brands can really step up and make a difference.  If as a brand you make a 14 a size 14, and if you make the image truly represent the quality and gives you an indication of what it could possibly feel like, then I think you will get long-term loyalty, and if you don't then we will simply click elsewhere, because who has got the time to be messed about?

Let's take my recent shopping experience with Finery.  Via social media, Finery have been making sponsored posts targeting me. The images looked great, the models looked fabulous - in fact they have built a wonderful website that I thought said, Lizzi, Lizzi, Lizzi. And so I purchased.  I was super excited about my delivery, which came in this really fancy box, I couldn't wait to get home and try it all on.

But sadly the sizing was wrong, two items in size 14, one fitted perfectly the over did not - it wouldn't zip up - so instantly I'm not going to love a brand that makes me bigger!  And then let's talk about the top, I loved the t-shirt style material, it was supersoft and it fitted so perfectly to my body shape.  And then the sleeves, well these are bang on trend for this springtime, tick tick tick - until we get to the flute sleeve material, it's Nylon, as in a duffle bag nylon, I mean rustle rustle nylon that are ridiculous long and far too noisy - now this I didn't see in the image - can you?

Nope, Finery may look like a brand that talks Lizzi, but it doesn't walk it for me. 

And now for the returns - each company has different rules; some you have to log in and seek permission to return, ASOS well they are super smart and make it so simple that I'm thinking "well I will try you again".  But overall, online shopping is hard work; hours spent looking, guessing sizes, waiting and then after lots of trying on, it's packing it all back up, driving to a post office and then waiting for your money to be returned.

Nope it's not for me just yet, well not for clothes anyway - I still want to touch and feel, I want to explore and try 100 garments on in a few hours.  I want the glass of Prosecco over lunch, I want the chat of "should I?" Or "will it go with [enter any garment from your wardrobe here] ?".  

I want the queue for the changing room, I want to carry lots of shopping bags and most of all I want the coffee with all the gossip. Because let's be honest ladies, that is truly what shopping is all about!

The post Let's chat... online shopping was on Loved by Lizzi first.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Winter is not coming, it's here!

Just when we thought winter was over, and we were all looking forward to buying our spring wardrobe, Mother Nature has other plans.

It's freezing!

On one of the hottest days last summer I took the opportunity to purchase snow boots, yes snow boots, these are the coolest boots I now own, and yet there is not enough snow for me to really get to wear them!  Now I know what your thinking, you think I should book a skiing holiday, well no - I don't do cold!  

It's one of those purchases, I loved them from the moment I saw them; even just looking at them gives me so much pleasure, I will never throw these boots away, and so the value for money box is now ticked!

Image from Instagram: @lovedbylizzi

One of my favourite garments is a jumpsuit, and I've been missing them so much. So I decided to restyle my khaki green Zara jumpsuit that I purchased in Rome last July - it was quite easy really, don't know why I hadn't done this before.  I teamed it up with a slimline black polo neck that I purchased from Zara only a couple of weeks ago, black 100 thick tights and my new black suede cut-out shoe boots from NEXT, which are so comfy for heels, it's ridiculous.

Add a huge amount of compliments from people at work that day and bingo - one happy chick! 

So during this cold spell, I say done the Spring look, just put a fews things underneath to keep you warm.

Open side shoe boots

The post Winter is not coming, it's here! was on Loved by LIzzi first.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Delish! Lentil and Spinach soup

If your still going strong on your new year health kick, well done you.  My happy 2017 is going well, and I'm trying very very hard to put myself first, a big thank you to a couple of friends who have reminded me this week!

I've been doing ok too on trying to avoid refined sugar; it was a little tricky yesterday when I had free reign on a three-course buffet, but I stayed strong and kept to the cheese and biscuits for desert - I find avoiding eye-contact with desserts the best way! (LOL)

This week I've been asked by a few about snacking in-between meals; if you are like me where your blood sugar can run low, then you do need to have snacks to keep it stable throughout the day - and this is where you can be tempted to head for sugar.

Here are a few options I use:

  • A hard boiled egg (great for protein)
  • Carrot sticks with hummus
  • A piece of fruit (if you have fruit in your smoothies in the morning avoid this, you are only increasing your sugar levels - opt for veg instead)
  • Almond butter, either on gluten free bread or medjool dates

This morning I was up early to make soup - I basically had some veg that needed using up, and within 30 mins, I made a protein rich, healthy soup.

Image: @Lovedbylizzi

Simply cut up onions, carrots and celery and then add any other veg you need to use up and cook in some olive oil for around 10 mins. Add a thumb size portion of ginger, half to a whole chilli (depending on your own taste requirements), 8-10 cherry tomatoes halved.  1.5 litres of veg stock and 300g of red lentils.  Cook this for about 15 mins or until the lentils have softened.  Add a bag of washed spinach, cook for another minute and then blitz with your hand blender.

It's very filling because of the lentils, so you will only need one slice of bread. 

If you are on Instagram, then you can watch me making it on my Instastories before 8am tomorrow - just like a bowl of soup, once it's gone, it's gone!!


The post Delish! Lentil and Spinach soup appeared first on Loved by Lizzi blog.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Spring '17 Trend: The Trench Coat

They say that fashion goes round and round and it's the slight twists that make the difference from one season to another.  After blogging for many years I do find that I write about the same garments, but highlighting this year's take on them.

I wonder how much of this, is a continuation for the need of the wearer not wanting to give up their favourites rather than the designer wishing to come up with something completely new; I know from my own experience of product developing there's absolutely no point to something unless someone is going to buy it - it's as simple as that.

And so the trench coat very much remains to be a staple for our wardrobe, but this year it's bigger; or should I say longer!  That's right.  Over the last 12 months the long duster coat has been popular in light materials as an alternative to the cardigan (a big hit with the Kardashian sisters) in Spring/Summer'16. From that, extra long cardigans featured throughout Autumn/Winter'16.  And now we are seeing this trend continue into this year's Spring trench coat.  

The right length sits around 2-3 inches below your knee (make sure it sits just above the widest part of your calf!).  A tough trend for petites and the extra tall to adopt - but there is a vast selection in store and online from ASOS, River Island, H&M and so on.

For me now my classic tench needs to be shower-proof - I've invested in quite a few different styles over the years and there is nothing more annoying than a cost that's suppose to protect you from the rain but all that is happening is that you are getting wet!

This year I've invested in this gorgeous Autograph khaki green by M&S that is made with Stormwear™ which should keep me dry with their clever water repellent technology. It's also made from extra luxurious Supima® cotton which gives it this lovely soft and light feel to it.  I love it and whilst it does cost more than others on the high street, I'm investing in both the quality and the practicality of this very classic staple - so for me it's bang on value for money.

M&S Autograph 
Belted Trench Coat with Stormwear™


So what are the do's and don't for this season:

  • Avoid doing it up! This Spring it's all about layers; and layers that you can see, so no need to belt it!
  • If you do want to belt it, you don't have to use the one that comes with it - you can opt for contrasting slim belts to add some extra colour
  • This season go neutral - previously we have seen lots of red and purple in trench coats; but the classic stone, beige or khaki is the way to go
  • Don't just use it for work - this is a great weekender - team it up with double denim and for busy Saturdays don't forget your trainers!
  • Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise - with a classic neutral this gives you the freedom to style it up with belts, hats, large cuffs (very big trend on shirts at the mo) or a colourful cross-body mini bag.  There's lots you can do and every day you can make it look very different.
  • And for the that really important business meeting; button it, belt it and wear the highest stilettos you can!

Copyright: @LovedbyLizzi

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